On a flight from Medellín to Bogotá on Monday, Avianca’s passengers were accompanied by music, of the live, trumpeting kind. Reacting to footage from this special concert in the air, Twitter users expressed outrage and disbelief that the airline would be so irresponsible as to bring wind instruments into a closed space in the midst of a pandemic.
What is an airline to do these days to generate some goodwill publicity and regain customer confidence in the safety of air travel? Well, as Colombian flag-carrier Avianca may now have learned, it is most decidedly not to arrange a trumpet concert onboard a flight during a pandemic.
Flight AV8565, but with trumpets
The Bogotá-based carrier took to Twitter on Monday to announce that the passengers on flight AV8565 from Medellín to Bogotá had been accompanied by live trumpet music from the Orquesta Filarmónica de Medellín or Filarmed, as it is also known.
Other Twitter users hastened to share their reactions to the special concert in the sky. Some were quite displeased, not to say outraged, with what they considered to be an incredibly irresponsible move from the airline.
Many were quick to notice that the trumpeters were wearing face coverings with holes for the mouth, which sort of defeats the purpose of a mask altogether. Moreover, the forceful expiration it requires to blow a trumpet, along with the amplification of the instrument itself, made this a “very good idea if the intention was to infect everybody on the flight,” as one commenter noted.
Ole, eso no se hace… todos pegadísimos en un lugar cerrado con instrumentistas de viento, por lo menos hubieran llevado a las cuerdas para que no se quitaran el tapabocas 😷 🤦🏽♂️🤦🏽♂️🤦🏽♂️
— Jaime Hernández S. (@HernandezJaime_) October 5, 2020
Why not bring the violinists?
Others yet questioned why on earth the airline and the orchestra chose to bring the trumpeters and wind instruments with them on board, rather than say cellos or violins. Any other instruments with strings, requiring less blowing, that could have been played while keeping face masks on, would surely have been a better option?
One user even went as far as to say that with thoughtless decisions like this, no wonder the airline had gone bankrupt. People also noted that a young gentleman in a row very close to one of the musicians was not wearing his face mask properly, but left his nose uncovered. Many expressed concern for the man’s safety.
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More trumpeting in the departure hall
Filarmed also played their wind instruments by the gate to another flight, AV0030, leaving for Miami, on the same day. One user felt it was pertinent to share a photo of the abstract of an article in Science magazine, describing how coronavirus transmits through the air and respiration.
— S.A.E. (@homoconsumens) October 5, 2020
Good intentions gone awry
While the intention was undoubtedly noble, to bring some music and joy into people’s lives, while bringing attention to the plight of culture workers and the arts during these difficult times, the actual implementation could have been more carefully considered.
Simple Flying has reached out to Avianca for a comment but was yet to receive a reply before the time of publication. Who knows, perhaps all of the musicians had submitted a negative COVID-test prior to boarding the flight?
What do you think of Avianca’s onboard concert? Let us know in the comments.